New Zealand National DH Championships - Photo Epic

Feb 26, 2018
by Cameron Mackenzie  



Would it really be a New Zealand event if it weren't tormented by bipolar weather? It's the end of February and the end of what is typically our hottest month here at the bottom of the globe. In the few weeks leading up to the 2018 New Zealand Downhill National Championship temps have been scorching and the trails have been getting blown out. The Nek Minute though, ol' mate Cyclone Gita comes roaring through only three days before the start of the event, bringing with it 50+ CM of fresh snow.

With Cardrona Alpine Resort playing host to the pinnacle event of the national calendar, event organizers faced a lot of headaches when Jack Frost paid the highest ski resort in NZ a visit on Tuesday Night. With the dump came a whole new set of challenges, including how to get the track exposed and dried out. Not to fret though, the team at Bike Wanaka, Cardrona Bike Parks and a group of hardy volunteers dug it out whilst mother nature melted the rest away.

Come first tracks on Saturday morning though, amongst the pockets of white pow lay some of the best trail conditions riders have ever seen between the tape.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Uplifts with views. Not a bad way to spend a weekend!

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Start gates atop New Zealand's highest ski resort

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Straight out of the gate riders were presented with a nasty little rock garden.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
"Is my GoPro on bro!?"

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
National Champs always brings together the countries best, but this year even a few of the retired came out for a visit. Cam Cole, welcome back to the show.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Not the type of trail features Hamish McLeod is used to but knew the only way to get through the upper rock garden was to twist it wide open.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Keegan won here last year, did he have what was needed to repeat?

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
A fresh rig underfoot and an aggressive track, Wyn Masters was in his element.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Once again Patrick Hale struggled with a more natural and rugged track and didn't have what was needed to mix it up with the heavy hitters in the U19 field.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Louis Vuelta at wrap speed down the hillsides.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Wyn Masters won practice with a textbook armpit sniffer.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Matt Walker may not have been slashing turns like Brook, but he was looking equally as fast in practice.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
He may have got through most of Saturday's practice without a crash, but Isaac Ewen did come unstuck in one of the many rock gardens later that afternoon. Thankfully he wasn't hurt, but his confidence may have taken most of the blow.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Shania Rawson had a tough weekend with some stiff competition in the Women's field.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Coming off the back of 3 wins in a row, Blenki had a target painted on his back.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
The Bulldog giving the young pup a few words of wisdom.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Cole Lucas was who I believed to be the Dark Horse coming into National Champs.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Blake Ross made short work of all the technical features and looked to be the U17 Junior to beat.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Patrick may not have won the race, but he sure had the best bowl cut on the hill!
2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
The froth never stops with Keegan Wright.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Some rode the rock gardens, others jumped. Either way, wheels took a beating this weekend.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
The Coffin was claiming a few riders over the weekend, and Brook Mac almost become another one of them.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Calum Booth rode with no expectations or pressure this weekend, and it showed. Smooth, aggressive and relaxed.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
With Peter Bethell on the sidelines after suffering a broken collarbone at Oceanias, it was up to mini-Bethell, Liam, to get things done for the duo.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Tuhoto floating that Zerode rig around like it was a feather. I haven't seen anyone ride a bike so smooth or channel such a strong a BMX style for a long, long time.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Was Wyn saying his friendly hellos to the UCI commissaire, or paying him off...?

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Cardrona turned it on with luxury uplifts on the Chondola
2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
The only place in NZ where the lads get uplifted on a ski chair.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
It's often too easy to get caught up in the hustle of the race, but being in mountains makes you take a step back and appreciate things more.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
No team mechanics up here boys!

NZ DH National Champs 2018
With near perfect conditions all day and a big storm front starting to set in late in the afternoon, it looked like luck was about to run out one day early.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
With an 8am start, frosted tips on the mountain tops and being up at 1100m presented a whole new set of challenges; including how to keep your hands warm during a run. Ash Bond and Louis Hamilton whipped out the old rubber gloves to pop under their riding gloves.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
A few quick tune-ups and Dane was set to complete another solid sandbagging.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Laurie Greenland may not have been able to take a national placing this weekend, but was still out there giving the kiwi's a hurry along

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
With the wind gusting up to 100kph, riders took refuge in the cafe until the very last minute.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Those high winds caused havoc and forced the Chondola Ski Lift to close, causing the upper sections of the track to be cut out.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Remember at school, how there was always that one joker in class? Well, Rupert Chapman is that class clown at this school of shredding.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Rocks - 1, Wheels - 0

Finn Hawkesby-Brown
Finn Hawkesby-Brown excels on tough tracks, as he's demonstrated throughout the season. But he seemed a little off the pace this weekend and finished +4.06 for 5th in U17.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Guy Johnston. The little man who is capable of the biggest runs. Like Sam Robbie, he too was unable to back up his Oceania's win and had to settle for 4th in U17.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Blake Ross was battling hard also, hungry for the U17 title, but that U17 class was incredibly tight and he had to settle for 3rd.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Finn Parsons seeded 2nd, some three seconds back on Alex Barke, but pulled back that time in his race run, only to get pipped by 0.42.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Eyes on the prize but sadly Harry Sangster didn't start on Sunday.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Nikki Clarke's weekend didn't end as she had hoped, suffering a torn ACL.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Riding my bike, Isaac Ewen tweaked his way into 9th in U19. I'll collect my $40 for the brake lever soon thanks.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Boaz Hebblethwaite saw a penny on the ground and went about picking it. Safe to say he wasn't getting up quickly from this.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
NZ DH National Champs 2018

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
After Boaz's mega rock garden crash, he sat out his seeding and race runs. Heal up buddy.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Sam Robbie was unable to back up his Oceania result this weekend with a 4th in U19.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Not to be disheartened though, Sam has had an incredible season and things are shaping up for him leading into his first full season of World Cups as a privateer.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Charlie Makea came out swinging and rode loose all weekend. Straightening out sections of track that had slow corners, and riding like he had a point to prove. 3rd in U19 but with plenty more fire to keep burning.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Keep charging like this though and he should have a good World Cup season.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Josh Oxenham wasn't going to let anyone stop him try his hardest to get that sleeve this weekend, but he didn't have any answers when Tuhoto put a second into him during seeding before he took his final swing, coming up short by 2 seconds.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Who doesn't love a good underdog success story. Tuhoto-Ariki Pene. The most unsponsored, unsupported rider on the hill and riding in a borrowed kit, threw down the run we all knew he was capable of to win the U19 title. National Champ and the peoples' champ.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Tuhoto-Ariki Pene, what more is there to say! I've been telling anyone who would listen all season that he was going to be one to watch and sure enough today he pulled on his first fern.

bigquotesFirst of all, to the dudes that worked on that track through all that nasty weather this week, moving rocks, dirt, snow and just putting it all in to make what I’ll say was one of the most fun tracks of the season; Kia Kaha! To come away with the win was unreal for me. After battling all season with the boys in U19 and constant tight racing, I’m glad to say I finally got my win aye and at the event that counted the most... yeyaahhh! Still can’t get my head out of the clouds but such a good weekend, such a different thing to come from the roots in Rotorua and onto the rocks and open tracks with mega winds! But all in, an extremely good weekend of racing from the bros!Tuhoto-Ariki Pene

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Dane Nimmo, the fastest master of the group, put 35 seconds into the rest of the masters' field. Let's hope he heads back into the Elite category next year for some stiffer competition.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
James Carley loves a good track, and that showed. 3rd in Sport Men.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Ash Bond may not have had any other competitors in the Sport Women class, but her time of 4:26.96 would have put her 4th in Elite Women.

bigquotesIt was wicked to return to the technical track down the Cardrona ski field, this was my second time racing here and I love challenging myself on different terrain! Comparing my time from last year and to go over a minute faster on a very similar course with a year of racing experience, I’m stoked.Ashley Bond

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Amy Cole came out racing for the first time this season and rode a super strong run.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
She's still got it. 3rd place in Elite Women.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Shania Rawson rode like she had a point to prove all weekend, but with Kate Weatherly coming off the back of a clean sweep this season, Shania had to be on her game.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Digging deep right till the end, but falling short by 12.65 seconds.

bigquotesI definitely had a fun weekend on the hill. The track was sick and the conditions couldn’t have gotten much better. Looking forward to Crankworx Rotorua in a few weeks.Shania Rawson

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Kate Weatherly dominated National Champs this year from start to finish. Putting almost 13 seconds on Shania, this is surely a sign of things to come.

bigquotesThe track was awesome and the dirt was pretty much perfect. I'm stoked with how my run went since I was right on the edge the whole time and I somehow managed to hold on, it was great to see so many riders out racing and it was a generally a great event, even if it was a bit windy on Sunday.Kate Weatherly

NZ DH National Champs 2018
The Jack of all trades, Sam Shaw. He raced the elite XC race on Saturday, placing 3rd, then proceeded to race the hardest track of the year blind and took 21st. Not quite the 3rd he had the day before, but he gets an A for effort.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
If bar turns resulted in placings then Ben Karalus would have placed much higher than 19th in Elites. He said he felt strong all weekend but that it clearly didn't translate to a strong time on track.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Simon Read may not have had his best National Champs, but at least he beat his buddy Ben Karalus.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Lucky 13th for Brannigan this weekend. Not what he was looking for, but after a long off-season spent recovering he had to start somewhere.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
Liam Bethell getting well tucked up, but it wasn't enough against the field of World Cup pros. 14th in Elites is by no means a bad placing though when there are 24 racers on the list, plus another 12 internationals in the same class.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Never count Louis Hamilton out. This may have been close to his 10th National Championship, but he was still up there with the big boys, rounding out the Top 10.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals

bigquotesCardies track is a beast! Such good fun to ride different terrain to what I’m used to. Also to have a stacked field of competition is awesome! I’m satisfied with 10th, had a smooth run and still in one piece.. couldn’t quite match the pace of Eddie! My highlight of the day though.. Tuhoto Ariki.Louis Hamilton

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Calum lay down an incredible run and came across the line for 9th in Elite.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Rupert Chapman didn't get the result he was looking for this weekend, but seeing teammate Eddie take the win must have been a sweet second.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Chappo won't be content though. Watch out for him come the start of the WC season.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Curious Cole was keen to see how he seeded.
2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
9th to be exact.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Cole Lucas upped his seeding result by 3 places and finished up 6th with a time of 3:00.00

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Bryn Dickerson is another small name rider that comes out swinging. 7th in Elites, tidy work as per usual.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
On the charge, Wyn didn't win the battle of the brothers this year, but did finish up 5th.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
I spy last years National Champ, Keegan Wright. With any of the top 10 capable of pulling out a win, Keegan's chances of a repeat were slimmer than that of winning this game of Connect 4.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
2018 New Zealand DH Nationals

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Keegan was on fire this weekend, there was no denying that, but with the like of Brook, Sam & Ed all on form, it was never going to be easy to defend his title. 4th place amongst a podium of World Cup / EWS winners though is still bloody good.

bigquotesSuper sick day out riding on such a mint track! The Cardrona team always put on a great track for the nationals! Happy to come away with 4th with a semi-clean run! Feeling mint on the bike, now it’s time to start getting ready for some overseas action!Keegan Wright

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Matt Walker proved many sceptics wrong and showed that he has got some strong form at the moment. He heads into the start of the World Cup season by taking the bronze.

bigquotesThis year's National Champs in Cardrona was epic! The crew up there worked amazingly hard to get the track from being completely buried in snow a few days before to one of the best tracks we have raced in a long time! Stoked to come away with 3rd in such a stacked field with tight racing! The bar has been set pretty high here and looking forward to the season ahead!!Matt Walker

The Bulldog was hunting hard all weekend but the sleeve escaped once again
The Bulldog was hunting hard all weekend, but the sleeve escaped him once again.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Inside lines and all!

bigquotesAnother good weekend of racing. The track conditions were all time and the boys did a good job getting the track ready after a big snowfall during the week. Bit of a bummer that the winds caused the lift to stop so they had to cut the track which made it shorter. Pretty happy with my result and stoked for Ed to take his first National Champs title.Brook MacDonald

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Blenki looked to be on-pace all weekend. 1st in seeding by 2 seconds.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Sam Blenkinsop's weekend ended suddenly with a violent crash after his back wheel got pushed offline coming to a small bridge.

NZ DH National Champs 2018
On a blinder of a run, Blenki got his rear wheel on the wrong side of a little bridge and that sent him flying.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
2018 New Zealand DH Nationals

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Laurie Greenland was on form all weekend and his time showed that. +1.68 back on Eddie and 2nd place on the day.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Eddie Masters schooled the competition this weekend and showed that if he can stay on the bike then he is more than capable of winning against some of the best.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Even if Blenki hadn't crashed, Eddie may still have won it. His race time was 1.5 seconds faster than that of Sams. It would have been close!

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Take a walk Eddie. Long time coming.
2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Fresh silverware for Eddie. He hasn't had an Elite NZ National Title before.

bigquotesWhat a weekend of racing bikes. An epic track, hero dirt and one of the deepest fields we've seen at nationals in a long time. It's always been a dream of mine to run the sleeve so I'm over the moon with the result. I'm super happy with how things are going and it's a great start with the new team.Ed Masters

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
After winning his first NZ Elite Title, you can't knock Eddie for having a smile this big.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
These are the future faces of New Zealand Downhill. L to R - Josh Oxenham (2nd), Tuhoto-Ariki Pene (1st), Charlie Makea (3rd)

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
What could have been! Blenki was on fire all weekend and you'd have been silly to not put money on him for the sleeve. Next Year.

2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Matt Walker explored new podium grounds by drinking champagne off the top of Ed Masters head. Only in NZ.

Results


2018 New Zealand DH Nationals
Elite Men's Podium

Elite Womens Podium
Elite Women's Podium


1st - Eddie Masters ( 2:51.09 )
2nd - Brook MacDonald ( 2:54.02 )
3rd - Matt Walker ( 2:55.50 )

1st - Kate Weatherly ( 3:27.93 )
2nd - Shania Rawson ( 3:40.59 )
3rd - Amy Cole ( 4:10.92 )


Full Results


Mentions: @cameronmackenzie



78 Comments

  • + 31
 Why dont NZ riders wear gloves?
  • + 16
 Cuz it don't hurt bro.
  • + 13
 McGazza once said elbow pads are for the smart ones and pussies. He's neither one.
  • + 3
 Because... Blenki...
  • + 16
 Have u ever f***'d without gloves? It's a much better experience... same applies to biking. Yes you run the risk of getting your meat bloody, but that just adds to the thrill
  • + 3
 @geerumm: wow. just wow. but good work.
  • + 21
 UCI you know have a serious issue pending. A transsexual athlete competing for a world title. Win or lose, if this athlete is permitted to compete at this level, the tangled legal mess you face in the future will be the bed you made. All disciplines in cycling will now have legal precedence to draw from. Shouldn’t have stuck your heads in the sand. Should have made a stronger ruling at the state/ provincial/national levels when you had a chance. Wow. What a mess.
  • + 3
 Eh?

*never mind just read the other comments
  • + 1
 The only way out of this that I can see is to have an intersex class?
  • + 2
 For what its worth this is the closest finish in an NZ womens elite DH race in 3 years. UCI knows the issue is pending and have some pretty extensive rules around it, you should go an investigate.
  • + 18
 Lets see Eddie win Fort William this year
  • + 12
 Congrats Eddie and Kate, well deserved. Big gaps between 1st and 2nd places
  • + 4
 and between 2nd and 3rd on womens. Just 30 sec.
  • - 29
flag harrybrottman (Feb 26, 2018 at 4:55) (Below Threshold)
 Why are they allowing this “Kate” dude to race in the female division?

Super unfair to females.
  • + 3
 @harrybrottman: Your comment doesn't deserve a response. The down votes you receive will give you an idea how sh@t your comment is.
Fortunately 99.9% of the mountain bike community are tight and supportive of one another regardless of gender or nationality.
Go back to the festering hole that you came from you worthless cretin.
  • + 4
 @Ryanfitz81: 99% is not a fair representation, anyone opposed is either keeping their mouth shut for fear of retribution or immediately hated on for having an opinion. Case in point, yourself.
  • + 23
 @Ryanfitz81: Are you saying its fair?I could care less what people want to do with their lives but this is unfair no matter how you try to explain yourself.We just had a transitioning male win a big wrestling tournament here and the support wasn't so great.You saying that's ok too?
  • + 11
 @Ryanfitz81: Chill the hell out. He's right to bring it up.
@harrybrottmann: The jury's still out on whether it's actually fair, but the powers that be say she can race. And from a strictly performance point-of-view her result is nothing spectacular when compared with the elite men.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3761733
For the time being, this competition and the results are considered "fair".
  • + 25
 This is a sad day for my two daughters. If this kind of attitude continues, womens sports will no longer meaningfully exist by they time they are grown up. It doesn't matter what individuals 'feel' is right, the bottom line is that when people with unfair advantages are allowed to compete, no one will bother watching it anymore, which means no sponsorships for women, no coverage of womens sports, and therefore less participation in womens sports.
  • + 18
 @Ryanfitz81: Pointing out the unfairness of allowing someone with an unfair competitive advantage does not warrant being called a 'worthless cretin'.
  • - 4
flag Ryanfitz81 (Feb 26, 2018 at 10:41) (Below Threshold)
 Oh dear. I've gone all in haven't I? I guess all this talk of unfair advantage would mean there is more to the story than I understand. Harrybrottman...... maybe I went in a bit hard. I'll go back to being impartial on this one.
  • + 7
 @Ryanfitz81: Transgender. "Kate" is basically a guy that is racing in womans category.
  • + 9
 @Ryanfitz81: I re-read @harrybrottman 's comment, and yes he was a little incendiary and a bit thoughtless to Kates feelings. Speaking/typing this way isn't productive or civil.

However, it also is thoughtless and uncivil for Kate to not consider the effect that his/her actions have on the feelings and lives of the women in the sport. Their feelings matter as much if not more than Kates.
  • + 10
 @zalev24: Kate is a woman, plain and simple. You can argue all day whether or not she has an unfair advantage (though it seems the professionals have determined that she doesn't), but calling her a 'dude' is supremely ignorant, and the kind of action reserved for worthless cretins.
  • + 5
 @hamncheez: very well said
  • + 7
 @dkidd: It depends on what your definition of a woman is. Biologically, and traditionally, woman means a person with an XX chromosomal pattern, which Kate does not have. All of Kates cells, except Kates sperm cells, are XY. I say traditionally, not because tradition automatically means correct, but because the majority of people out there will not understand your definition of woman, meaning someone who chooses to present themselves as female.

I'm not saying that our current language pattern of man = XY and woman = XX is the best, or can adequately handle the complexities of modern life, but those are the definitions that most people will identify with. A statue of a woman or female figure is not a biological woman, but we still call it female, for example. It may very well work in societies best interest to label trans-women as just women, but that hasn't played out yet or had the time to develop.

Finally, it is without question true that males have district physical advantages over females, even when held up to UCI standards of 1 year of hormone therapy (which is a poorly defined term).
  • + 4
 @dkidd: it's everything but plain and simple. maybe she doesnt have the physical advantage but she has the psychological advantage. she knows she can ride the track 20 sec faster, because she probably has before the surgery.
i said she a lot
  • + 3
 Goddamn, way to be supportive of the trans community guys. I'm sure that very few of you will ever know what that feels like, I sure as hell don't, but I bet she's been through some hard times - nobody makes that decision lightly and they definitely don't do it just to win races in the women's category.

What happened to being inclusive? Regardless of whether you think it's fair, the shitty comments are 100% unnecessary and they 100% suck. I hope you're proud of yourselves.

I for one think it's great to see someone that's obviously had a hard time in life out there having fun on a bike.
  • + 32
 There is a difference between supporting the transgender community and letting a non biological woman romp-a-stomp the women field. THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO ENCOURAGE MORE FEMALES INTO THE SPORT.
  • + 6
 @Ryanfitz81: @sam264: whether you agree with it or not, EVERYONE is entitled to an opinion. Just as Kate is entitled to identify as whatever she chooses... man, woman, dinosaur, unicorn... we now live in a world where science and biology have no definitive meaning. What's next? Math questions having multiple correct answers?... your are spot on about mountain bikers being a tight-knit community, but this topic of debate I just don't agree with.
  • + 1
 In Aus, we've recently had a similar issue. We've had a ex-male Olympian who wants to play in the girls league of the AFL. There a huge uproar about it. She's well over 6foot and weighs over 100kgs.

www.canberratimes.com.au/sport/act-sport/transgender-footballer-hannah-mouncey-opens-up-on-aflw-draft-and-homelessness-20171211-h02k56.html
  • + 1
 @geerumm:
You missed my point. I'm not interested in whether you think it's fair or not, you're entitled to your opinion as you say. However some of the discriminatory comments on here are just vile and completely uncalled for.
  • + 5
 If you want to have a serious discussion, at least keep it civil.
  • - 1
 Wow, neg props for "keep it civil". Well done PB.
  • + 9
 @sam264: I count 1 (potentially) discriminatory comment. The next most frequent type is your vomit-inducing virtue signalling.
The majority of the comments have been civil. I suspect that because they're not overwhelmingly postive about transgender you can't tell the difference.
  • + 0
 Can you all go away with your 1950's arguments and leave us kiwis in peace?

It's not a problem in our community so don't come and create one.
  • + 1
 @dirtologist: Dude, it's becoming a worldwide topic of debate. I came to New Zealand in hopes of getting away from everyone's "feelings" and "needs" that are overly present in America, but truth is that it's a PEOPLE issue found around the globe. Not to mention, this is a NZ specific race series where the debate is centered around Kate Weatherly.
  • + 5
 @geerumm: yeah if you came to NZ to avoid taking other people's feelings into consideration you might have picked the wrong country indeed
  • + 0
 Closest womens race in 3 years, 2016 the winning margin was over a minute
  • + 3
 @mbikes1: simply pointing out a fact that one race is not a true indication of ability and skill/time margins. Look at the time gaps over the whole series of races to get a more accurate understanding of the skill gap and margins. Some have been pretty large and repetitive.
  • + 1
 @FinnCable: You said it yourself: you can't take an individuals results in isolation and say they prove your point. Kate has no control over how fast her competition is. With such a small number competing, the variability in the results is likely to be pretty large. As it turns out Shania, her closest competitor suffered from mono this year and she's likely still recovering from her illness.
I made the point above that if you compared Kates' time with the winning time in elite men then her performance is not unexpected. However, I've also questioned (in an earlier thread) her move up to elite women from open men while undergoing/ recuperating the most invasive phase of reassignment too. That "levelling-up" strikes me as questionable, but again the level of competition may not be comparable between Open men and women, so she was forced to enter elites instead. The powers that be (NZ Cycling, UCI etc.) say she can compete and that her results stand because she followed the process they laid out to ensure a level field (so in theory she has no physical advantage). The problem though, is that process will be influenced heavily by the available subjects for testing, who are very few and far between and are *probably* more likely than the average male to maintain a female physique long before their reassignment, so it's likely they're not even indicitive of the average physically-active male who opts to change their gender, let alone an experienced male athlete. The lack of worthwhile data in this area allows for potentially significant abuse since our governing bodies are required to justify their rulings with accurate science (when it suits them I guess). So for now, cases such as this one are deemed "fair", but who knows what may happen in 20 years.
Decrying the injustice of it all on PB won't change anything. If anyone feels that strongly about it, go get a degree and/ or put in the work to support the research that informs policies such as these. Just don't be surprised if the results say that some transgender individuals, such as Kate, are still eligible to compete.
  • + 6
 @geerumm: "I came to New Zealand in hopes of getting away from everyone's "feelings" and "needs" that are overly present in America" Jesus, did you read that back to yourself??? All this political correctness ruining our good old racist, bigoted, xenophobic fun... Damn, us white males are really having a hard time right now, we were meant to be untouchable. Untouchable I tell you! What happened to our licence to ill? It's the thin end of the wedge god damn it!
Unfortunately, society is evolving and in 100 years you will f*cking hate living on this rock if you think it's getting "bad" now.
@Deuce-DeuceAndAHalf: Thank you, end of.
BTW - Check the results of the DH race in Fontana. Top 2 are over 30 seconds ahead of the rest. Shall we take a look inside their shorts?
  • + 2
 @BenPea: only if its gonna be another size debate on pinkbike!!!
  • - 7
flag brutaldroppin (Feb 27, 2018 at 6:57) (Below Threshold)
 @sam264:
You are white knight
Cuckoldry
  • - 3
 @dirtologist:
How does it feel to be a
Cuckold
  • + 2
 @BenPea: Whoa, whoa... you went a little extreme with all those labels, but I think I get what you were trying to point out. Am I not a caring person? Maybe so... I wasn't coddled as a youth and life as an adult has presented me many struggles. My whole philosophy is, "Nut up and get over it. The world owes me nothing." And I believe the world would be a much better place if everyone lived that way. I could be completely wrong though... maybe the world needs more liberalism and caring people who are quick to label others if they don't agree with their ideals/beliefs and so forth...
  • - 1
 @geerumm: yeah, I got triggered! triggered! Liberal extremism is a side hobby for me. The "labels" I used are just a way of painting in broad strokes what I see as being the problem. Got a shitty life? Blame someone else, preferably someone different and an easy weak target that can be easily demonized by the majority. Through these kinds of messages. The politicians and traditional media are manipulating us to keep our focus off those who are really f*cking things up, i.e., the politicians and the traditional media. If you had the strength to get through stuff, great, your psychological make-up and values allowed you to do that. You might see people who you perceive are taking advantage of the system and the gullibility of others, but that is way overplayed. I'd argue that the privileged few at the top of the tree are taking advantage way more than life's bottom feeders. I can't see how more empathy and treating everyone properly is going to make the world a worse place. There's too much them and us. Too much misplaced resentment of the perceived advantages of minorities. If people are dissatisfied they need to direct their anger to those who are supposed to be running things, not the little people who sometimes need help. Look at the number of people in therapy or on meds. It's yuuuge. Mostly because feelings and needs were repressed for too long. f*ck man, can't believe you forced me into hippy mode this early in the day.
  • + 6
 @BenPea:
You went way off topic.
If you want to be nice and treat people equally, then you would advocate that biological men shouldn't be racing against females.

It's not fair for biological females to be racing against men.

Has nothing to do with being politically correct. It's about true fairness, otherwise one should just get rid of gender classes all together and let all the women race with men Wink
  • - 1
 @brutaldroppin: Nope, I was questioning why someone would want to leave a country because they're sick of having to care about people's feelings. Sorry, "feelings".
Regarding the blurred gender racing thing, @Deuce-DeuceAndAHalf sums up my thoughts perfectly. The complexities of the issue cannot be addressed in the simplistic terms you use, however comforting they me be to you.
I believe depth of field is the biggest problem. I'd like to see how Kate would do in World Cups and hopefully we'll find out. I suspect she wouldn't win any.
  • + 1
 @BenPea: My first thought about you was, "This an intelligent person who writes well. And someone I could definitely debate with." Being a hippie never came to mind. I think debate/communication is key to understanding others' beliefs... but name calling, badgering and making assumptions causes people to become super defensive. I wasn't looking for sympathy. Nor do I want it. Not looking to give my life story here, just trying to give a glimpse of my mindset. We are products of our environment (I believe). And my opinion is that the entire world is becoming soft. You may believe we are moving in the wrong direction as a society... this I disagree with. Almost every individual has a voice. Or at least an outlet to be heard. Not to mention the acceptance level is at an all-time high.

As for my choice to leave America... I mostly did that to escape winter and keep riding my bike. I'll be returning mid May, then back to NZ when the snow begins to fall in Colorado. It's just that NZ is not entirely what I expected. Only my ignorance can be blamed for that though...
  • + 1
 @geerumm: No worries, just shooting shit. Thing is, the world needs to get softer or we'll never make it to the next century. How many people are under the poverty line in wealthy industrialized nations, for example? There are hundreds of complicated issues humanity must face to evolve to the next stage. Our desire to look for simple bite-size solutions that appeal to our own egos is fed by those in charge who can't be bothered tackling the real shit (they are in it for themselves and their financial backers sadly). You think the world is going soft because those with the power to make the positive changes required are diverting attention from themselves and blaming foreigners, the EU, muslims, jews, women, those with gender issues...
Anyway, I think it's near impossible to change people's minds through debate nowadays, since so many views that I deem misguided (at best) are validated by our overlords every day. Fighting fire with fire is cathartic though and the internet depersonalises us enough to disinhibit the way we express our more abrasive opinions. I'm guilty of that too. It's hard to take into account each individual's character nuances when all you see of them is black type on a white background. But honest, respectful communication can take us some of the way. It's not always easy though. Empathy for those we clash with is also useful. Fixed positions based on prejudice are not, especially when we're talking about dragging the whole of society towards a more enlightened paradigm. I hope I'm making sense.
Trying to connect with those we don't necessarily see eye to eye with is very constructive though. Shame it's so rare.
  • + 8
 Congrats to Pinkbike for trolling that sandbagger Dane guy again. I like it....No one likes a sandbagger. And congrats to Eddy putting together a burner of a run.
  • + 8
 Combined chairlift and gondola = Chondola?
  • + 6
 Whoa, look at me learning: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_lift
  • + 9
 Still doesn't beat the ganjola
  • + 3
 @cameronmackenzie 4th photo caption - Cardrona is far from NZ's highest ski resort. Turoa (2320m) & Whakapapa (2300m) vs 1860m. It's not even the highest in the Sth Island - Roundhill (2133m) is much higher too.
Unless you mean highest lift accessed MTB? In which case - I have no idea. Great photos though!
  • + 4
 @HommeDeBatte He may have got that wrong but he got this photo caption right ''Shania Rawson had a tough weekend with some stiff competition in the Women's field''. The women are getting shafted!
  • + 1
 @HommeDeBatte : Highest lift access bike park in NZ.
  • + 4
 Please pinkbike, what exactly is wrap speed?
  • + 3
 Cameron can take a photo but the write up is the definition of a Sharn haha.
  • + 1
 Yo Deuce... take a look at the top three women at any World Cup and compare their times against the men’s... ya barely qualify if at all.
Don’t be surprised. I won’t be.
  • + 4
 Roll on the WC, Pivot has a good team with Eddie and Kerr.
  • + 3
 Ouch - those gloveless hands looked bloody awful after that digger...
  • + 2
 Well done to Ed masters though, great result!
  • + 7
 And to think he used to be a woman, so much respect.
  • + 3
 Nice one Eddie !
  • + 1
 Real question is....will we get a new bike review today...?
  • + 2
 There's a Thok eMTB review (not visible in North America) today, and then RC's Liteville review drops tomorrow.
  • - 2
 @brianpark: thanks man!
  • + 1
 I want to see more of Blenki's 29er. Thing is sexy.
  • + 2
 Nek-Minute!
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